[Updated on October 29, 2021]

Q) I am a US citizen who married a Korean wife. We moved to California 5 years ago.  This year, she suddenly left and refused to return home with our son.  It has been 3 months but she flat out denies my right to be with him.  I am not abusive nor have I ever been violent towards her or our son.  I have already sent in my Hague Child Abduction Convention application to the U.S. State Department to start the Hague process. I would like to know if your firm has handled Hague cases for International Parental Child Abduction.

South Korea Is a Contracting Nation to Hague Child Abduction Convention

On December 13, 2012, South Korea had become the 89th contracting nation to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“Hague Child Abduction Convention”, please refer to our previous article).


What is a Permanent Resident Visa (F-5) ?

The name says it all. The Korean permanent resident visa (F-5) is the Korean green card, the most versatile visa for foreigners who wish to live in Korea for an unlimited period of time and without any restriction on their activities in Korea.


There are several categories which can apply for a permanent resident visa.


You have unpaid receivables from a Korean company or personnel. The Korean counterpart doesn’t reply or refuses/delays the payment arguing some unacceptable reasons. The Korean counterpart might be acting in a hope that the long distance between the two works in their favor.  You may also feel helpless or sometimes frustrated confronted by language barriers and different laws.

That is the time to consider hiring a local lawyer. The Korean business and litigation lawyer can guide you through the whole process of debt collections in South Korea.


Child support is a legal obligation of a non-custodial parent. It usually matters when the couple is divorced. But a separated spouse can ask for child support, too.

Read more: Getting Divorced in Korea as Foreigners: The Ultimate Guide

When the parties cannot agree on the amount of child support, the court makes the decision. In this regard, the Korean court has an internal rule to calculate the child support amount in Korea. Although this internal rule is not mandatory, many judges refer to this before making a decision. So it is worth looking into. It can give you a general idea of how the Korean court determines the child support amount.


Doing business in a foreign country had many challenges. One of them is how to cope with the local laws and practices which foreign entrepreneurs are unfamiliar with. In response to these uncomfortable challenges, the entrepreneur may set a legal department within its business organization or hire an outside foreign legal counsel.

However, in this competitive business environment, having a different set up like outsourcing would be a better choice, because it will eventually save your money and help the smooth progression into a foreign market.

In this article, we explain the key concepts of legal outsourcing in Korea and what our office can provide.


What is Overseas Korean Visa (F-4)?

The overseas Korean Visa (F-4) is a multiple entry visa. This visa is for a Korean who had obtained foreign citizenship and his/her foreign lineal descent.


The F-4 visa is the most versatile resident visa next to the Korean permanent resident visa. This visa was originally introduced to provide the overseas Korean descendants with almost the same level of residential benefits as Korean nationals enjoy in Korea. Thus, the initial term of permitted stay is 3 years, and you can easily extend it.


Every Korean male citizen has a duty of military service as prescribed by the Military Service Act.  Usually, most Korean male undergoes a draft physical examination at the age of 19. And they become exempt from the liability of enlistment from January 1 of the year when he turns into 38.

There were cases that young Koreans traveled abroad and refused to return in an attempt to run away from the conscription. Facing this problem, the Korean government had implemented an overseas travel permit system. It is basically requiring any Korean male with a military duty to obtain a travel permission. Otherwise, they can’t have overseas travel. Violation of this rule results in a criminal conviction in Korea.

This overseas travel permit, however, had created so many careless offenders. Especially those born in or immigrated to a foreign country at an early age was ignorant of this system. In some cases, they were in dual citizenship status, and they don’t think of themselves as Korean. But, the chances are, under Korean citizenship law, they are still under the regulation of the Korean Military Service Act.


Globalization has brought a unique situation to our assets management. Your asset portfolio is diversified. Now you live in New York, but you own a condominium in Seoul at the same time. Having a bank account and stocks in Korea is very common for expats and people who have family in Korea. You should manage them while you live each and every day. And you should also have an estate plan in place regarding how your foreign assets shall be managed and distributed to your loved ones when you pass away.

Every jurisdiction has its own laws and procedures to govern the decedent’s assets located within its territory. Thus, having an estate plan pursuant to the New York Law does not guarantee that your wishes and priorities in the estate plan shall be honored in a foreign country. That’s why you need to set up a foreign estate plan according to the relevant foreign law.

In this article, our Korean estate planning lawyer explains the basics of estate planning in Korea. We will discuss typical instruments under Korean law that you can make use of: a will, a living trust, and a power of attorney.


This week a story of an overseas adoptee caugth our attention. She had succeeded in finding her birth father in South Korea after getting a DNA test order from the Korean Family Court. The news calls for an attention how hard it is for some undocumented adoptees to find their birth parents in Korea.

It is true that back in old days Korean government was not so strict in regulating the foreign adotion. Some children had been adopted without having the corrent documentations about their origins.


Like many other countries, South Korea has its own merger notification & competition review regimes.  This means if your M&A deal involving a Korean company or business meets the merger notification thresholds prescribed in the rules of the Korean competition authority, you need to make a merger filing. And your transaction becomes subject to the authority’s competition review.  Thus, it is imperative that the dealmakers should be fully advised on the Korean merger filing rules for the applicability and for any potential risks.

Korean M&A Regulatory Law and Agency

In Korea, the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (MRFTA) regulates the M&A and other similar transactions.  The MRFTA appoints the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) as the regulatory agency that is in charge of receiving the pre-merger notification and carrying out the competition review.